Monday 1 June 2009

Quantified value case study 9

Or more a "Quantified loss of value". A recent Basex study is entitled "Airbus Hits Turbulence: How Knowledge Sharing Failures Cost Airbus €4.8 Billion"

To buy the report costs $200, but the summary is below.

"(This report)is the first in-depth look at Airbus' woes, caused largely by
failures in knowledge sharing and collaboration.

In the coming decade,
as companies move from the industrial age into the knowledge economy, more and
more organizations will find that the cost of not knowing how to manage
knowledge work and knowledge workers will have a significant impact on the
bottom line.

The impact on the bottom line in Airbus' case was €4.8
billion ($7 billion).

Two years late and with significant cost overruns
due largely to software and IT issues, the first Airbus A380 superjumbo just
went into service with launch customer Singapore Airlines. The A380 is now the
world's largest commercial airliner, capable of seating 525 in a standard
three-class configuration. But the costs to Airbus were great: at a minimum,
it's €4.8 Billion. With delays in the newer A350 program, which will arrive five
years after Boeing's 787 Dreamliner, what will happen to Airbus next?

Far from being a unified company, Airbus' management and production
teams span many European companies. The company is first now taking steps to
unify these groups but is it a question of "too little, too late"?

"Airbus Hits Turbulence" and find out what the future holds for Airbus"

Now I know that Airbus is doing excellent work in KM, but I also know that this work is struggling with low budgets and lack of management support, and is currently confined only to engineering. I have not read the full Basex report, but if the authors are correct, and that lack of wider knowledge sharing is to blame for the A380 overruns, than this is quantification of the value of KM, or rather of the cost of not doing it.

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